Yes, you can find happiness at work, if you know where to look.
The key is focusing on your interests—the type of activities you would enjoy if pay, prestige, and opportunities were the same. Interests are different from skills. For example, what might make you happy is beautiful artwork (interest), but you might not be able to paint (skill).
Here is a partial list of interests to consider:
- Scientific. Are you interested in the way things work?
- Technical. Are you interested in how things work?
- Musical. Are you focused on sounds and what you hear?
- Numerical. Do you tend to think in terms of numbers or spreadsheets?
- Artistic. Is the way things look important to you?
- Outdoors. Do you get anxious if you are indoors too much?
- Literary. How much do you focus on words? Do you like to write?
- Process/Systems. Do you like organizing tasks into logical and organized processes and systems?
- Persuasive. Do you like influencing others?
- Social Service. Is it important to you to be directly involved in helping others?
With knowledge of your interests, you can take charge of:
- Career Selection. Does your career allow you to pursue the interests that are important to you?
- Task Assignments. It is not always possible to be in a job that exactly matches your highest interests. You can, however, find tasks in your job that align with your interests and do more of them.
- Work/Life Balance. Maybe you cannot pursue all of your interests in your career. You can take steps to ensure that interests are incorporated somewhere in your life, perhaps through hobbies.
- Time Management. By understanding your interests, you can assess whether enough time is spent on areas that interest you. If it is not, make an action plan to create more time for those activities. This will make a big difference in your degree of satisfaction with your current job.
For customized advice on improving your happiness at work, get your copy of “How to Be Happy, Successful, and Understood At Work in 21 Days.”